Till date, Shivaji is considered one of the greatest leaders in the Indian history cause of the way he fought with limited resources and applied his strategic thinking to achieve success. While stories of his conflict with the Mughals are widely known, here are ten lesser known and interesting facts about Shivaji Maharaj that everyone should know.
2. Shivaji built up naval forts at many places and strong naval army too. Thus he successfully protected the Konkan coast from pirates and foreign invaders.
3. Shivaji killed Afzal Khan who was much stronger and well-built than him, in a one-one battle. It is believed he won the battle tactfully and killed Afzal Khan by wearing tiger claws.
4. Shivaji acquired the Fort of Torna at the age of 15 by bribing the Adilshahi commander.This particular move shows how smart strategist he was.
5. At an initial stage, Shivaji tried to maintain cordial relation with the Mughals and offered to support Aurangzeb but the situation deteriorated when Shivaji’s officer raided areas(Ahmednagar) near to the Mughal territory.
6. When Shivaji’s father left the throne the army had only 2000 soldiers but he developed a strong Maratha army of 10,000 soldiers, each of whom was equipped with amazing fighting technique and strategies.
7. Shivaji was a compassionate, honest and disciplined ruler who had strict instructions for his army. His soldiers were never given any personal weapon. This was done to prevent misuse of weapons.
8. Very few know that Shivaji was an extremely secular ruler. Though he himself was a Hindu, his army used to have many Muslim soldiers. He was very much against forced conversion and had great respect for all religions.
9. Shivaji Maharaj was extremely respectful towards women. In his kingdom, any crime committed against women was harshly punished. Any act of dishonoring women was never spared.
10. Mystery shrouds the death of this great ruler. He died from high fever and dysentery when he was only 52 years old. He vomited blood before death. Perhaps this is why many feel he was poisoned and that too by his second wife.